Following on my posting, on my X blog, of a moose-knuckle singlet (here) and a remarkable letting-it-all-hang-out singlet (here), Aric Olnes reported on Facebook that he’d just bought a singlet for himself, adding:
I settled for the singlet, since I couldn’t find a reproduction Victorian male swimsuit with horizontal stripes.
with a photo of this excellent bathing costume (I don’t think they were called swimsuits in Victorian times):
Entirely decorous, so unlike most of the men’s clothing I post about. And the socks are fabulous.
OED2 has relevant compounds with bathing as first element from the 18th and 19th centuries:
bathing dress (with dress ‘costume’) 1774, bathing costume from the 1830s, bathing-suit 1873, bathing trunks 1895
but swimming and swim compounds are a 20th century thing:
swimming costume 1904, swimming suit 1926 (in Hemingway), swimsuit (glossed as ‘a (woman’s) bathing costume’) 1934, swim-wear 1935, swimming trunks 1943, swim-trunks 1959